Tag Archives: organization

BOUNCE! From one thing to the next

16 Oct

Yes, I know it’s October, but I’m BOUNCING back to our September power word because I’m still processing that one!

I met with my Chicks recently and we had an interesting discussion. We talked about all the things we have going on. As much as we lamented having Too Much To Do, the reality is we all still wish we could do more!  But we know we simply can’t.

In reflecting now, I acknowledge I need to say “no” a bit more, so I can focus more. But, I must let go of the idea that life will fall into a nice, neat, orderly plan.  My closet, yes. My life, no. (Maybe this is why I like organizing closets so much.)   There are so many things that are a true “yes”, that if I let go of, would diminish my life considerably.

MichaelMaggs Edit by Richard Bartz

MichaelMaggs Edit by Richard Bartz

My writing works this way too, sometimes.  I’m working on a middle grade contemporary novel this year, but I had a chapter book that I wrote a long time ago and never felt confident about sending it out.  Now that more agents are seeking chapter books, it was time to bring it back out.  So, I BOUNCED back to it.  Revised it. Polished it.  Sent it to my beloved early readers.  Read the feedback. Revised some more. Polished some more and now…I’m querying!  And, I have more energy with that off my plate to BOUNCE back to my middle grade novel.  In fact, I’ve already added a couple thousand words.

I’ve embraced the fact that my list will remain long: family time, volunteering with my kids’ schools, cooking healthy meals, my consulting work which is satisfying and keeps me engaged professionally, writing, being an active critique group member and of course, time with my Four Chicks.  But I will stop beating myself up for how I get it all done.  The way I get it done is by bouncing from one thing to the next. It’s not neat. It’s not linear. And, it’s not pretty.  But you know what? It gets done.

So, I say it’s okay to BOUNCE, as long as you finish things along the way.  Just keep BOUNCING and learn to enjoy the ride.

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Organize Like a Blogger

27 Nov

It’s after 3 a.m., and I should really be sleeping. Instead, I’m riding a wave of satisfaction at my latest effort to organize the roughly 75 years and 200 historical characters that are connected to my historical fiction novel. Oh, and the caffeine high from the hard-core Cokes my dad left from Thanksgiving might be playing a role.

At any rate, I’ve tried Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, even index cards in an attempt to harness the information overload. I even started using Scrivener’s writing software, which I do like. However, in the flurry of new information I’ve acquired in recent weeks, I’ve realized that I still haven’t found the ideal way to incorporate new facts and cross-reference effectively. Perhaps, that is, until now.

First let me backtrack just a bit to a few weeks ago. A client who just moved recommended me as a potential resource for an internal communications campaign for which external resources were being considered. I had a weekend to submit a proposal. Instead of cracking open PowerPoint, however, I decided to create a private blog, which was the intended delivery vehicle of the communications anyway.

As I told my fellow Chicks, I put all of my Chick training to good use. In just days, I was able to create a really fun, stylized proposal in just a matter of days. What’s more, I gained a deeper understanding of the organization between pages (not date of writing related) and posts (critical to date of writing). To me, the result felt very cool, very functional, and above all, very organized for future growth.

So tonight, I decided it might be fun-ctional to apply this concept of a private blog to my Goliath project–the “I-T” to which the antecedent is always understood by my Chicks and my patiently enduring husband to be “my never-ending historical fiction novel”. I spent hours just making a start, but at least I have a good general framework for building it out. And knowing that only I can access and view the blog makes it feel like an extension of my brain. But a LOT tidier.

This could be a turning point for me. Besides the potential of becoming vastly more organized with this project than I’ve been to-date, I’ve decided that even if I don’t live to see the fruition of this novel actually written to completion, I’m going to start enjoying the mystery clue-collecting process more. Who knows where this could lead next? And who cares, now that I’ve remembered why I started on this project? I really do love it and am determined to bring order to the historical chaos swirling around my major characters.

Truth be told, I work better when I at least FEEL organized. In fact, I don’t even like to sit at my computer at all unless and until my house is clean and organizing around me. This explains my lack of productivity over the past six months, when the process of moving out and moving in has me wanting to make everything perfect around me. The boxes are unpacked, but perfect–that’s gonna take some time (and money). Meanwhile, moving my equally intimidating pods of historical facts into my private blog-abase is giving me a serene sense of clutter conquest. At least on the screen, which is where I need to stay focused.

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